NetFlow is not being used by 77 percent of IT professionals

A strong correlation exists between network size and whether an organization relies on NetFlow to monitor performance.

Network Instruments
Minneapolis, Minnesota based Network Instruments - a certified Cisco Technology Developer Partner whose network analysis tools take advantage of both NetFlow and sFlow technologies, asked 600 IT professionals about their network monitoring and troubleshooting practices. How can 77% of IT professionals not be using NetFlow?
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23% of respondents used NetFlow to monitor network performance, while 60% did not use flow technologies. 17% were unsure whether they had any type of flow collector.
Organizations Using NetFlow Based Upon Network Size
As shown in the above bar chart, a strong correlation exists between network size and whether an organization relies on NetFlow to monitor performance. Still, Network Instruments was surprised by the numbers and vetted them with a couple of analysts who weren’t as surprised. The number of NetFlow adoptees is definitely growing as Network Instruments has seen a strong increase in the number of people looking to leverage NetFlow to increase their enterprise-wide visibility. A few Network Instruments systems engineers who are in the field were asked for their take:
There may be several reasons why an organization may not use NetFlow in spite of the clear benefits of the technology. The most obvious reason would be that the staff may not be aware of NetFlow and its benefits. They may also not be aware that their monitoring devices support NetFlow. They may have also had bad experiences using earlier embedded technologies. Another reason for lack of use may be due to lack of device support for NetFlow. Final 3 reasons: First, the organization may not be a Cisco shop. Second, the organization may not want to upgrade device software to support NetFlow. Third, their equipment may be too old or they may have mainly Layer 2 devices.

White Paper: Extending Network Visibility by Leveraging NetFlow and sFlow Technologies - This paper shows how a network analyzer that can leverage NetFlow and sFlow technologies can provide extended visibility into enterprise networks without added investment. Network Instruments solutions perform network and application monitoring from within the same product, where you can obtain high-level enterprise-wide reports and drill down on specific packets.

Network Instruments
View how the Network Instruments Observer platform integrates NetFlow and sFlow technology.
Network World 2007 Best of the Tests Headliners - Network Instruments GigaStor
In the Network World 2007 Best of the Tests network diagnostics product category, the Network Instruments GigaStor won. Think of the GigaStor as a TiVo-like device for the network capable of capture every packet, transaction, and connection traversing the network for later replay and analysis. It actually complements NetFlow statistics very well – if you see something at a high level using NetFlow stats, you can go back in time to view the actual packets, run expert analysis, and diagnose the problem. While NetFlow is a great high-level monitoring technology, it can’t be used as the sole monitoring technology. It’s not going to provide application performance information such as response times, due to the lack of Layer 5-7 information. It should be complemented by packet captures for true troubleshooting.
Network Instruments GigaStor
The above GigaStor unit provides massive data collection and unique time-based analysis that eliminates the need to recreate problems—rapidly decreasing resolution time. Available for WAN, LAN, Fibre Channel, gigabit and 10 Gb networks. GigaStor can hold up to 48 TB of data or offload to a SAN for almost unlimited storage potential.


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